Why a Conversation Bridge Will Eventually Replace Your Toll Free Number


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Coming up through the ranks is a huge generation, bigger than the baby boomers, that we affectionately call the millenials. No need to bore you with details of them. If you’re my age and you have tweens or teens for kids, then you know exactly who this group is and just how different they are. They’re glued to electronic devices and interfaces and as a result, the _entire world_ is at their fingertips. For this reason, when something or someone is not reachable in a reasonable amount of time (oh…let’s say 10 seconds), it creates a degree of cognitive disonance and a rush to judgement regarding the person or entity they assume is inhibiting their forward progress.

This group expects answers and access immediately. The companies and brands that are able to meet their expectations will have a significant competitive advantage. This is the reason we need to create a conversation bridge for our customers. It’s to help companies prepare for the next generation of consumers. A conversation bridge may come in the form of a multichannel callback solution that bridges the gap between customers looking for answers on their own who run into a dead end, and the customer service people who can help. It’s an essential part of any company’s conversation strategy if they wish to build loyal relationships with customers. A person who can help, just like the rest of the information in the world, must be at the customers’ fingertips.

What’s a Conversation Strategy?

A conversation strategy is your company’s plan for engaging customers and helping them get tasks done, from beginning to end. This includes all of your self service portals and online knowledge bases in addition to your highly skilled reps in the contact center. Your self service apps along with your contact center…can not be optimized separately. They must all be aligned and viewed as an integrated customer service system that engages customers and wins their loyalty through helping them achieve their goals. These goals include: buying a new product, updating account information, registering or signing up for something, getting support, and yes…even cancelling service. Disrupt the customers’ momentum and the process flow anywhere along the line and you put the customer relationship in jeopardy. An effective conversation strategy begins in the IVR or on a web page, in a mobile app or on Facebook, in a gaming console, or other content streaming box…but in order to finish the conversation, sometimes customers need to talk. When they do, you must provide an effective bridge.

The Conversation Bridge

The conversation bridge allows any customer the cut-thru access they expect if they are going to complete their task with you. Nothing must slow them down. This generation is about speed. With the touch of a button or screen, the conversation bridge sends the context of the call, along with a callback request, to the customer service center where specialists are standing by to help. The request for a callback is the next logical step for any customer who wishes to finish the conversation that began in self service. Dialing a toll free number and starting all over again is archaic and out of the question. We roll our eyes in disgust when we see the toll free number in an app or on a web page because we know what it means: starting all over, repeating account info and waiting on hold. With the emergence of these new and preferred channels of communication, accompanied by an effective conversation bridge, why will we even need toll free numbers in the future?

Customers are programmed to seek out answers on their own first (self service). However,when a customer runs into a self service dead end and needs help, they will request it using their preferred channel (a device or console of some sort) and the service request fulfillment will take the form of a callback from a specialist who knows exactly who you are and precisely how to help. Rest In Peace Toll Free Numbers.

Eric Camulli
As Vice President for 7signal, Eric is focused on helping organizations bring high quality and highly productive experiences to people using Wi-Fi networks everywhere. In today's connected economy, our dependency on robust, reliable Wi-Fi is paramount. Eric is dedicated to ensuring that companies deliver peak wireless performance so that they can compete in a marketplace exploding with wireless devices.


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